Tag Archives: Queen Victoria’s Jubilee

Blind Sam Fountain

Location: Holt, Norfolk, England

On the corner of Norwich Road and High Street (Obelisk plain) in Holt, stands a memorial fountain erected in 1887 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee. The fountain was surmounted with a gas lamp which was frequently not in service due to a sporadic gas supply. The locals therefore nicknamed it, Blind Sam.

It was originally situated in Market Place and relocated in 1921 in deference to a WW1 War Memorial to be situated on the site.

Manufactured at the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow drinking fountain number 45 from Walter Macfarlane’s catalogue stands 15 feet high. A square pedestal with Egyptian patterned frieze designed by Alexander ‘Greek” Thomson, offered demi-lune basins on four sides with troughs for dogs at ground level. Spigots within the geometric pattern released water into the basins, and drinking cups on chains were suspended from projecting tendrils.

The griffin feet capitals support a four sided central stanchion heavily decorated with palmette and acanthus relief on three sides. The fourth side contains a plaque inscribed, The 1887 Queen Victoria Jubilee Column and Lamp, removed from Holt Market Place in 1920 to make way for the 1914/18 war memorial. The replica lantern and base by Tony Sizeland was commissioned by Holt History Group and Holt Town Council in 1992.

A fluted column with attic base arises from a highly decorated acroter. The structure is capped with a central lamp, a crown and finial. Roofed in with scales of opal glass the lantern cast the light downwards (design number 223). The lamp originally lit by gas is encircled by flowers and a crown containing Maltese crosses surmounted by a trio of spiked orbs.

The structure was listed a grade II historic building in 1983 and was restored in 1992 with funding from the Holt History Group and Holt Town Council.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Glossary

  • Acanthus, one of the most common plant forms (deeply cut leaves) to make foliage ornament and decoration
  • Acroter, flat base
  • Attic base, a column base with two rings
  • Capital: The top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Demi-lune, half moon or crescent shape
  • Fluted, a long rounded groove decorating the shaft of a column
  • Griffin, winged lion denotes vigilance and strength, guards treasure and priceless possessions
  • Palmette, a decorative motif resembling the fan shaped leaves of a palm tree
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Spigot, a device that controls the flow of water (tap)
  • Stanchion, an upright bar or post providing support
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

 


Fountains, Distant Twins & Cousins

In a deviation from most of the memorial fountains documented here, these drinking fountains were not erected for human use.

The fountain in Loanhead, Midlothian, Scotland was actually a drinking trough for horses with a small basin for dogs at ground level. The trough was a circular cast iron basin supported on legs in the form of horses’ hooves. A central fluted column was capped with a central lamp roofed in with scales of opal glass that cast the light downwards (design number 223.) A crown encircled by flowers was surmounted by a trio of spiked orbs. It was manufactured by Walter Macfarlane’s Saracen Foundry, and donated to the burgh of Loanhead by Provost Hugh Kerr to mark the Coronation of King Edward VII, on 26 Jun 1902. It was removed in September 1933.

An identical fountain is located at Belmont & Main Street, Rondebosch, Capetown, South Africa. A mining magnate named George Pigot Moodie, donated the horse trough to the people of Rondebosch in September 1891. The lamp atop the fountain was the first to have electric street lighting in the area. It was declared a national monument on 10 April 1964, and was restored recently in 2013.

Two additional fountains very similar in structure are located in the Capetown area:

  • In Mowbray at the intersection of Durban and Camp Ground Roads is a fountain donated by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. A shield on the post is inscribed: SPCA 1899. The base differs from the previous examples, and is not supported by horse legs. The central stanchion supports the structure which is seated on a circular plinth.
  • The second fountain is located at Jubilee Square off St George’s Street in Simon’s Town. It was erected in memory of Queen Victoria’s Jubilee as identified on the shield: Queen Victoria Memorial 1837. This fountain is supported by a central column and four short pedestals. The column rises from the basin where four lion masks spout water. Four projecting tendrils are evident and may have suspended cups allowing humans to drink from the spouting water whilst horses drank from the large basin. The difference in the lamp finial may be the result of damage or replacement.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 


Savanna La Mar Fountain

Location: Savanna La Mar, Jamaica

A royal salute of 21 guns, a thanksgiving service at the parish church; and donations of money, food and clothing were presented to school children and paupers within the parish to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee in 1887.

Edward John Sadler, a planter from the parish of Westmoreland, Jamaica, presented a drinking fountain and trough to the town on behalf of the parochial board. It was erected inside the Westmoreland Parish Council building.

The fountain is presently located in a corner of Nelson Square near the Courthouse. It has been encircled with fencing most likely to protect it from vandalism as many of the original pieces of the structure are missing. The font is barely recognizable: the basin, cups and crane finial no longer exist. The finial at the apex of the dome is also missing.

The canopied drinking fountain is design number 21 (18 feet by 4 feet) from Walter Macfarlane’s catalog manufactured at the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, Scotland. Seated on an octagonal plinth, the canopy is supported by eight columns with griffin terminals which are positioned over capitals with foliage frieze above square bases.

The highly decorated cusped arches are trimmed with rope mouldings. Cartouches contained within each lunette offer shields for memorial; a crane is on three sides and a dedication shield with the inscription, Presented by E. J. Sadler 1887. On each side arch faceplates provide a flat surface for inscription using raised metal letters; often the useful monition, Keep The Pavement Dry. Civic virtues such as temperance were often extolled in inscriptions on drinking fountains.

Doves and flowers offer decorative relief on the circular, open filigree, ribbed dome. The internal capitals are floral ornament. The structure was originally surmounted with a vase and spiked obelisk finial which is now missing.

Under the canopy stood the font (casting number 7) 5 foot 8 inches high. A single decorative pedestal with four pilasters and descending salamander relief originally supported a basin 2 ft 6 ins in diameter. The missing basin had a scalloped edge and decorative relief. Four elaborate consoles supported drinking cups on chains and a sculptured vase was terminated by the figure of a crane.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic of guardians of priceless possessions; cranes are a recognised symbol of vigilance; and salamanders display bravery and courage that cannot be extinguished by fire.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Glossary

  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Cartouche, a structure or figure, often in the shape of an oval shield or oblong scroll, used as an architectural or graphic ornament or to bear a design or inscription.
  • Console, a decorative bracket support element
  • Cusped Arch, the point of intersection of lobed or scalloped forms
  • Filigree, fine ornamental work
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Frieze, the horizontal part of a classical moulding just below the cornice, often decorated with carvings
  • Griffin, winged lion denotes vigilance and strength, guards treasure and priceless possessions
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Obelisk, a tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument which ends in a pyramid-like shape at the top
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal

Hoylake Promenade Fountain

Location: Wirral, Cheshire, England

This drinking fountain was erected in 1901 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee. The fountain is seated on a two tiered plinth located at the Hoylake promenade in Wirral. It was listed a grade II historic building on 20 January 1988.

Although the drinking fountain was still operational in the 1970s vandalism regularly destroyed the taps, and eventually the council stopped repairing it. It has changed colour throughout the years: a shade of green in the 1960s then painted blue in the 1970s, and when it was removed for restoration in 2008, it was black and gold. It has since been returned to the original paint colour.

A special project grant from Wirral Coucil enabled restoration and the structure was transported to Wolverhampton for repairs in February 2008. The project was completed in several stages; the font, finials and dedication medallion being installed after the fountain was returned to the Promenade.

Cast iron is an unusual material to be used in conjunction with water, and rust appeared almost immediately. In 2011 repairs were required. The basin is no longer a working font although the water pipe still remains under the plinth.

The following photos show the fountain in previous decades and also in various stages of the restoration project (architectural pieces are missing.) The last photograph shows the complete structure.

Drinking fountain number 8 from Walter Macfarlane & Co.’s catalogue was manufactured at the Saracen Foundry at Possilpark in Glasgow. The structure is 9 feet 6 inches high and is seated on a two tier square plinth. The structure consists of four columns, from the capitals of which consoles with griffin terminals unite with arches formed of decorated mouldings.

Rope moulded cartouches within each lunette host an image of Queen Victoria upon which is stamped the manufacturer’s name, Macfarlane & Co. Glasgow. The fourth medallion contains an inscription, For the Children of Hoylake and Meols. On two of the sides provision was made for receiving an inscription using raised metal letters. The structure is surmounted by an open filigree dome, the finial being a crown with a pattée cross.

Under the canopy stands the font (design number 7) 5 foot 8 inches high. The basin which has a scalloped edge and decorative relief is supported by a single decorative pedestal with four pilasters and four descending salamanders, a symbol of courage and bravery. A central urn with four consoles offer drinking cups suspended by chains. The terminal is a crane.

Symbolism was popular in Victorian times. Griffins are symbolic of guardians of priceless possessions, salamanders display bravery and courage that cannot be extinguished by fire, and cranes are recognized as a symbol of vigilance.

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Glossary

  • Capital: The top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Cartouche, a structure or figure, often in the shape of an oval shield or oblong scroll, used as an architectural or graphic ornament or to bear a design or inscription
  • Console: a decorative bracket support element
  • Filigree, fine ornamental work
  • Finial, a sculptured ornament fixed to the top of a peak, arch, gable or similar structure
  • Fret, running or repeated ornament
  • Griffin, winged lion denotes vigilance and strength, guards treasure and priceless possessions
  • Lunette, the half-moon shaped space framed by an arch, often containing a window or painting
  • Pattée cross, a cross with arms that narrow at the centre and flare out at the perimeter
  • Pedestal, an architectural support for a column or statue
  • Pilaster, a column form that is only ornamental and not supporting a structure
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests
  • Terminal, statue or ornament that stands on a pedestal